Wanderers coach questions call following loss to Macarthur

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Western Sydney Wanderers coach Carl Robinson has questioned the decision that led to the decisive goal in his team’s season-opening loss to Macarthur FC, while putting the result down to bad luck.

As the Wanderers ushered in a new era at Bankwest Stadium with a new coach and a host of star recruits, they were upstaged by Macarthur who came away with a 1-0 win in their inaugural A-League match.

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Benat Etxebarria scored the match-winner in the 72nd minute, a free kick which deflected its way into the net. It came after Keanu Baccus was fouled for bringing Jake Hollman down on the edge of the box.

According to Robinson, referee Kurt Ams got the decision wrong and the Wanderers were unlucky to lose.

“We conceded a goal on a free kick through a deflection which wasn’t actually a free kick,” Robinson said.

“In close games you’re hoping to get a bit of luck or a few decisions here and there. It just wasn’t to be.

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“I said to the players after the game, ‘Sometimes you don’t get what you deserve in football’. I think it was a fairly tight game and in the end the difference was one ricochet off a free kick.”

Robinson admitted he was “quietly fuming” after the game but took plenty of positives from the performance.

He said he could not have asked for much more from his players on the night, and that he is expecting plenty of improvement from the Wanderers in the coming weeks.

“Performance-wise I can’t fault them; they applied themselves excellently,” Robinson said.

“Is it the end product? No, we know we’re way off that. But there was glimpses of how we want to play and the way we’re going to play, which is positive. We were a bit tired on the legs, which is why I made the subs that I did.”

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Robinson was quick to downplay any concern over the performances of James Troisi and Bernie Ibini, both of whom were relatively quiet against Macarthur.

The Welshman pointed out that the pair have had a disrupted pre-season and only joined the club two weeks ago, reiterating that he is not overly concerned by the loss.

“They were all positive,” Robinson said of his new recruits.

“It’s good to have James and Bernie. They’re good players, but they missed a lot of football in pre-season. They got a little bit leggy at the end, which is why Bernie only played an hour.

“Jimmy (Troisi) just did what he likes to do, he runs and dictates the game and passes and moves. I think we created things from that, there are just areas where we need to improve… that was highlighted today against a very strong team.”

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The Wanderers will have to wait more than a week until they get the opportunity to bounce back from the defeat. Their second game is not until next Friday, when they take on the Newcastle Jets away from home.

Tensions are sure to be high, as Robinson and Ibini return to Newcastle for the first time since their controversial departures from the club.

(Photo: Steve Christo)

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Jye Campbell
Journalism student at Western Sydney. Love my football (#lazoumance) and rugby league (#pantherpride). Advocate for FIFA Career Modes. Covering Western Sydney Wanderers in both A-League and W-League for the 2020/21 season.

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